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Major ice storm sets sights on South

From Justin Roberti accuweather.com Rounds of snow and ice will severely threaten travel and daily routines across the interior South through this week before a major winter storm attempts to take a run at the Northeast. The same storm that brought record snow to Seattle on Saturday will cause some snow and an icy mix to drop southward to northern Texas and the Tennessee Valley Monday and Monday night. Initially through Monday night, the ice will not be substantial. However, that does not mean residents and travelers should let their guard down. According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, “There is the potential for a major ice storm from northern Georgia to central and upstate South Carolina to central North Carolina Tuesday night and Wednesday.” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Sunday that his state will activate its emergency operations center on Monday afternoon, ahead of the projected storm. ”I have issued a ‘˜warning order’ for the National Guard — an advance notice to personnel of the possibility of a ‘˜call up’ for a state mission,” Deal said in a news release. While the threat for the ice to weigh down power lines will be low through Monday night, untreated roads and sidewalks will turn slick for motorists and those traveling by foot. Those in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Shreveport, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Tupelo, Miss.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Nashville, Tenn., should prepare for the possibility of such slippery conditions Monday night. As moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is tapped into, more substantial snow and ice will develop and spread from northern Louisiana and Arkansas to the Carolinas Monday night through Tuesday. Significant snow and ice is likely to continue through Wednesday across the Piedmont and mountains of the Carolinas and northern Georgia, potentially bringing travel to a halt. ”A number of communities over the interior South may have more significant, longer-lasting ice and snow when compared to the storm from late January,” AccuWeather.com Southern Weather Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said. The communities at greatest risk for the above statement lie along the I-20 and I-85 corridors from northern Louisiana to the Carolinas. This includes Vicksburg, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; Augusta and Atlanta, Ga.; Columbia and Greenville, S.C.; and Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C. It is not snow that threatens to bring Atlanta to a halt at midweek, but sleet and freezing rain. Charlotte, N.C., could be hit with a heavy amount of both snow and ice. AccuWeather.com meteorologists will continue to give more precise details on the impending wintry weather in the upcoming days. Confidence is high that the press of cold air giving way to the snow and ice across the interior South will not reach the immediate Gulf Coast, as was the case in late January. Plain rain will instead spread along the I-10 corridor from Houston to New Orleans to Jacksonville Monday through Wednesday, while thunderstorms rattle the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday. There is the possibility the far interior Northeast will be spared the worst of the snow if the storm tracks offshore or just grazes the coast. However, major travel disruptions from heavy snow and/or a wintry mix are likely in the I-81 and I-95 corridors. By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

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